Austin Peay State University’s new student Dallen Larson develops the game, ‘Rhythm Knights,’ by Steam, Xbox

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Austin Peay State University's new student Dallen Larson develops the game, 'Rhythm Knights,' by Steam, Xbox

In a rhythm game, the player matches specific patterns to reach higher scores like “Dance Dance Revolution,” “Guitar Hero” and “Rockband.”

See the trailer for the game below:

Austin Peay State University freshman Dallen Larson. (APSU)

Early influences drive desire to Create Games

Story Highlights

  • “I’ve wanted to be a game developer since I was really young,” Larson said. “I grew up on video games and they’ve always been an escape for me.”

  • “Rhythm Knights,” according to Larson’s website, is a “unique hand-drawn colorful rhythm fighter where four knights combine into one and go on an adventure to avenge their kingdom.” Players explore a large map and battle original enemies created through collaboration with four other artists. Players press the arrow keys in a series of patterns to the beat of original music by jijigri. The better the player does the higher combos he or she can achieve.

Larson is a liberal arts and computer science major. He hopes to make a living as a game developer, either working for a big studio or continuing his work as an independent developer.

“I played a lot of ‘Minecraft’ as a kid and the command blocks in the game were very similar to programming, and I experimented with those all the time,” Larson said. “It’s really funny – a game taught me how to make games.”

Some of Larson’s early influences include “Super Smash Bros. Melee” and “SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom,” a popular fighting game and 3-D platformer, respectively. Both games are considered iconic and influential to millennial and Generation Z gamers. “I have super fond memories of playing those,” Larson said. “Whatever my brother had I would play.”

Larson is a big Nintendo fan and did a lot of research on Nintendo’s design philosophy to adapt to his own games.

“I looked at what I thought made ‘Smash Bros.’ so great and what I thought made the ‘SpongeBob’ platforming games so great,” Larson said. “There’s a lot of polish in the ‘SpongeBob’ games. When you take a step back and look at it, it adds a lot to the game. A lot of small stuff.”

‘A game I’ve dreamed of making’ Larson has released well over a dozen games.

“Usually, I start with a game and remix ideas. I’ll play a game like ‘Animal Crossing’ and think if it had this feature, it would be even better,” Larson said. “So for this game that I just released, ‘Rhythm Knights,’ the big idea was what if I made a rhythm game inspired by ‘Castle Crashers’?” Most of Larson’s inspiration comes from other games.